Learning “The Knowledge” of London

Some things never change. Even though tea may be the hot drink of choice for the natives, we still managed to track down a good ol’ hipster coffee shop where steamed milk somehow always turns into an image of a leaf when added to espresso. At Bloomsbury Coffee House, Jenn apprehensively tried vegemite for the first time, to her disappointment, and we both spent time with our original best friend, our Creator.

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We continued our stroll through the stereotypical rainy day in London over to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. We knocked on 221B Baker Street, but found that no one was home, most likely due to highly unusual cases that require the brilliant mind of Benedict Cumberbatch. So we went into the gift shop instead.

Across the street we entered Regents Park and walked to the top of Primrose Hill. As if the views of London hadn’t already been idyllic, the lush greenery below and Central London skyline views from Primrose Hill certainly put us over the top.

Next we met up with Georgia Bird at the Duke of York Theatre to chat and see her inner workings of The Glass Menagerie. She was wonderful, as always, and reminded me of who I want to be as a stage manager: fearless, driven, warm and genuine.

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We then took the tube to meet up with Rufus Wright at The Engineer pub, as per Gavin’s recommendation. As Jenn quickly discovered, Rufus is a man of great stories and engaging trivia. He told us over bangers ‘n mash that each taxi driver in London must endure an average of four years studying the streets of London to acquire The Knowledge. He told us of a test that all drivers must take to see if they know how to get from tiny-obscure-road to shop-you’ve-never-heard-of. We finished our meal, jumped in a traditional black cab and learned that Rufus’ tale was true. Our Caribbean driver told us all about his experience taking the test and being so nervous that he ran into walls on his way out.

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The taxi driver’s “Knowledge” served us well, landing us at the Hampstead Theatre where we saw Rufus’ wonderful off-West End play, Diminished. We stayed after to chat with Rufus over drinks and nearly met the Queen herself (well, Claire Foy, who portrays her and wins a ton of awards for it).

 

Written by Kristi Hess

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